You might not think the summer is any different from the rest of the year when it comes to oral hygiene for kids, but without a regimented schedule to fall back on, kids that are all over the place during the summer can easily forget to practice proper oral care. Here are just a few important tips to keep your kids’ teeth in ship shape through summer.
1. Stick to a schedule
During the summer months, your regular schedule goes out the window, and without the routine of school days, extracurricular activities, and homework, it’s easy for kids to go off the rails with other scheduled activities, like proper oral care. As a parent, you have to remain diligent year-round, reminding kids to brush, floss, and rinse at least twice a day, especially with all the sugar they may take in during the summer.
2. Put together a travel kit
Summer vacations, weeks at camp, and even overnight slumber parties pose a risk for letting proper oral hygiene fall by the wayside. Combat this by packing a cool travel kit for each kid, complete with a sealed pouch to store travel products (toothbrush, floss, and travel-size toothpaste and mouthwash) and setting reminders on mobile devices.
3. Skip sugary drinks
Soda, lemonade, sports drinks, and other sugary beverages seem to be part and parcel of summer (not to mention popsicles and ice cream). Cutting back on sugar can be hard, but one of the best ways to go about it is to offer water instead. This not only protects teeth by rinsing away leftover food particles and bacteria, but it also keeps kids hydrated during the hot summer months.
4. Practice pool safety
There’s nothing more fun than a day at the pool when temperatures soar, but kids that run around willy-nilly on wet surfaces can slip, fall, and suffer trauma to teeth (not to mention the rest of the body). Discuss proper pool safety with kids so they know how to behave appropriately and avoid potential accidents that could compromise oral health.
5. Schedule a back-to-school check-up
Even with plenty of parental prodding to brush, floss, and rinse, kids still want to enjoy a carefree summer away at camp or slumber parties, guzzling cola, scarfing candy, and shirking oral hygiene duties. It’s not the end of the world, but you might want to schedule a check-up before school starts in the fall to clean teeth, check for cavities, and generally undo any damage that may have developed over the summer.